Apr 22, 2009

News - Disney Comics back in India | Apr '09

It’s time for the Ball vs. Bat, and every cricket fan is tuning into the (NR)IPL Season 2 in Zulu’s Country, which I must admit for its publicity and glamour is not living up to the euphoria set during the previous edition in India. But, if you are not amused with that, then you could always tune-into the anonymous blogger, who is stirring up all the news from behind the scenes. Truth or not, it is something everyone is gunning for at the moment. Enjoy them, I do!

PhantomWalt Disney Mickey MouseComing back to Comicology, I must admit the last post featuring the start of Phantom Series, was one of the ambitious project which I ever undertook at Comicology, both in terms of time and effort put forth. I was pretty much happy for the fact it was received well among the comicologists. In return I vouch to feature the concluding parts in the coming weeks, with fair share of information laced all along, while maintaining the tempo of the series.

What we have as a subject for our current post, is the recent media briefing about Walt Disney Comics entering India, after a long time. If not for others, It brought back all those childhood memories of watching the Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge of Disney’s eternal characters, both on animated TV series and in the comic books. Before we look further on the Disney’s earlier Comics foray in India, here is the excerpt from the Media News:


Donald Duck (English)WaltDisney NewsMickey Mouse (English)Walt Disney Company (India), has announced a licensing agreement with Indian publisher Diamond Comics to publish Disney comic books, both in English and Hindi in India, under their Junior Diamond brand.

Roshini Bakshi of Disney said, "The comics offer a story of adventure and fun for every child, and for the child in us all. The launch of comic books in Hindi, reinforces our commitment to localize our stories and connect with the Indian consumers through content, that is appealing and relevant."

Featuring Disney's characters, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, the 32-page comic book will be priced at INR 25. Disney is gunning to reach 10,000 points-of-interest within the first month of launch.

Donald Duck (Hindi) Mickey Mouse (Hindi)"We are excited to promote fun reading through the launch of these Disney comics in India through our nationwide reach," said Junior Diamond’s Manish Verma.

Disney also plans to launch comic books on its proprietary character of Princess, which includes titles such as Snow White & Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella among others. Also on the cards are comic books in regional languages for the south India market. To start with Junior Diamond will be publishing the Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck titles also in Hindi.


Even though Diamond Comics (most famously known for Pran’s Chacha Choudhary, Pinki, among others) has a publishing industry experience of 70 odd years; their newer division Junior Diamond brand is still at its infant state. The last known attempt of Junior Diamond was to base comic books out of the Bollywood movie Roadside Romeo, which both bombed at theatres and newsstands respectively. But it looks the partnership with Walt Disney during that venture, has paved the way Disney Comics deal. (Read more about Roadside Romeo, on our 2008 Movies Round-Up at Comicology, here)

This time around with the partnership of Walt Disney, and the attractive pricing model of INR 25, I hope they turn the tide and continue publishing Disney’s Comic books which were missing out from the all Comic Book scenario in India. But, this is not the first time Walt Disney Comics is making it into India.  In fact there were some well received earlier accounts, and let’s look into some of those, to mark this occasion.

LM Comics Disney Today 8809 150588 Disney & Living Media: Disney Comic Book’s first real attempt to penetrate the Indian Market, was through Living Media, which is still known widely for their long running magazine, India Today. A new title named LM Comics was created for this venture, and it was published as a fortnightly comics magazine, named Disney Today, mainly carrying the Disney’s world famous characters.

LM Comics Disney Today 9115 150891 Not much is known like how long the publication was in business, but their another children's magazine, Target, which was once said to be the only competitor to the evergreen Tinkle Children's magazine, ran from 1980 to 1995. (Read more about Target and its inspiration for Tinkle’s Shikari Shambu in our exclusive post at Comicology, here)

So LM Comics should also have run along the same period, by both feeding out of each others success. During Disney Today’s famed run, it was often referred as the only comics magazine close enough to the popularity of Indrajal Comics. They were both fortnightly, and had a standard 32 pages of A4 size. Disney Today was priced from INR 5 to INR 6 during its run. The issues were assigned a 4 digit number, which comprised of the year and chronological issues number (For eg., an issue released on 1988 as the 14th issue of that year, will be numbered as 8814).

LM Comics was published from its then head office located at New Delhi (Living Media India Pvt. Ltd., 316 Competent House, Connaught Place, New Delhi 110 001). The packaging of the magazine, was top-notch, and the printing with colored pages make them a collectors item even today. I am fortunate hold a few of those issues in my collection.


Chandamama Classics n Comics 03 Disney & Chandamama: During the Same period, from October 1980, the Chennai based Chandamama also had a publishing deal with Walt Disney in India and had released two titles, starting from the Disney’s Wonder World series in Chandamama’s Classics & Comics (C&C) brand, and later a separate title which carried the adventures of other Disney characters like Zorro, Snow White, etc. under the Chandamama Book Shelf (BS) brand. (Read more about Chandamama’s recent 60 years celebration with their Coffee book Collector’s edition, here)

Chandamama Classics Editorial Refer to this editorial featured in their 3rd edition, which talks a great deal about the Disney and its impact to the Comics Industry as a whole.

Chandamama seems to have started both the C&C and BS series especially to feature the Walt Disney’s Comic books.  I doubt how successful was the series as I couldn’t see any titles dated after 80’s.

The C&C series were numbered like Indrajal Comics, Vol.1-No.1 (prompting they were planned as Weekly), etc. and was priced at INR 2, while the BS series, which was released monthly, were numbered sequentially, and were priced INR 3.50, during its run.

One of the problems with the packaging of these comics, was their idea of waxing the covers, instead of laminating it. As it turns out the Paperback covers with the wax coat, means that they are prone to damage and break through years in storage, making it very hard to maintain it for collection. I own a few titles from these series, and it still hurts every time I turn around to read them and find that some part of it breaks away and spoils the overall collection. Chandamama could have done better to avoid it.

Nevertheless, for the sheer reason that it was part of the 1980’s comics euphoria of India, it certainly deserves a place in your comics collection.  Here are few covers from the series.

Chandamama Book Shelf 08Chandamama Book Shelf 09Chandamama Book Shelf 08-1 


IE Egmont Mickey Mouse 13 1996 Disney & Egmont: Can you talk about American Comics publishing in India, and miss out from mentioning Egmont? Well, Egmont was also in the reckoning during late 90’s, taking up the mantle to release Walt Disney Comics in India.

Denmark based Egmont International, entered India in 1997, with a joint venture with Indian Express group. The resultant company was named Indian Express Egmont Publications Ltd. (IEEPL), and one of their first launches was bringing the Walt Disney Comics titles to India, for the obvious reason that they have a long publishing record in Denmark for Disney titles.

They released two monthly titles named Mickey Mouse and Mickey Mouse Digest. They were of B5 size, and were priced at INR 20 and INR 30 (for Digest with 96 pages. Egmont is known for the re-release and re-prints of the same titles, most evidently noticed with their Phantom editions.
(Phantom editions of Egmont  will be covered in detail in our Phantom series at Comicology soon).

So the reprints were even evident on the Mickey Mouse titles. The original print issues ran from 1995 to 1996, in the process releasing a total of 32 Digests. In 2000, after getting the nod from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), Egmont bought the complete stake of its Indian arm from the Indian Express group, for a reported sum of INR 2 Crores.

In 2002, under their newly formed Egmont India venture, they published 16 Mickey Mouse Double Digests, which were all reprints from the Original Mickey Mouse Digests released in late 90’s. This time the size was reduced to A4, to go along with other Digest formats in the book shops. The titles were initially priced INR 60, but was later changed to INR 65.

Egmont’s Mickey Mouse Digests and Double Digests, were one of the best format for any comics enthusiastic to add to his collection. The only problem was the pricing, which was way too high for the time it was released. Which could be the very reason why the series never made a long run.

Disney in Tamil: During their run, Egmont also published few titles of Donald Duck/Mickey Mouse in Tamil. The translation was one of the poorest attempts to say the least, so let’s not discuss much into that failed attempt.

When it comes to translation in Tamil, there is no denying the fact that Lion Comics/Muthu Comics Editor S.Vijayan scores all the points. He had his own Tamil version of Donald Duck in his another famous Tamil comics and now defunct brand, Mini Lion, for a short span. More on that while we look at those Mini Lion title in the future at Comicology. Those titles does deserve a special mention for sure.


Diamond ComicsSo the start-stop publishing of Walt Disney’s eternal characters are in for a long haul, with Diamond Comics jumping in the foray to market Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck Comics in India, which makes for an interesting wait. Be assured that you would hear about the titles and their review at Comicology, whenever the hit stands, which is expected to happen in the a couple of months.

Especially, when the New York based Disney’s comic books, which publishes 274 million copies of children’s magazines worldwide, are losing its stature and popularity in its parent country (evident through eroded sales in recent years), India may be a market which they can flourish on. Let’s stay hopeful.

Also in Junior Diamond's Disney review post we will discuss about the author who was never given due credit for all these wonderful Disney comics, which we have come to know of. Talking about him would be the main aspect for the next Disney post at Comicology. Stay Tuned.


As a Bonus, to all the readers who read the post till its end, here are the covers of the Egmont’s 16 Double Digest Series, from my collection, which were originally on sale in 2002.  Some of them were still available on bookstores, when I last checked.

So use them as a checklist for your next shopping trip, or simply enjoy the wonderfully drawn Disney Covers. Until, our next post, Adios Amigos!

Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 01 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 02 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 03 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 04
Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 05 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 06 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 07 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 08
Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 09 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 10 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 11 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 12
Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 13 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 14 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 15 Egmont Mickey Mouse DoubleDigest 16


Earth Day Save Petrol CampaignTail-Piece: Today (Apr-22) is celebrated as the Earth Day, to save the mother earth. There are plenty of ways in which we could do so, starting with a few things right from our home, and our way to office, to know more follow this link. Let’s do our bit for the good cause.

Now, a fellow comicologist, did ask me If I would contribute to Mother nature, by digitizing the comics archive I hold. Well, as much as I agree with the concept, which saves paper and ultimately the trees, it’s certainly not on my wish-list. I will safely pursue other options. ;)

Not to forget a point that, our own Mickey Mouse and Goofy were once featured in a comic book for Save Oil campaign, and thus save Mother Nature. To go along with the Earth Day celebration, here is the cover of that unique issue. Enjoy Reading. Adios Amigos !

17 ComiComments:

ரஃபிக்,

வால்ட் டிஸ்னி நிறுவனக் கதைகள் எவ்விதம் இந்தியாவில் அறிமுகமாயின என்பதைப் பற்றி சிறப்பான ஒர் பதிவைத் தந்திருக்கிறீர்கள்.

முக்கியமான விடயங்களை தவிர்க்காது தந்திட வேண்டுமென்பதற்கான உழைப்பு பதிவில் தெரிகிறது.

வால் டிஸ்னியின் பாத்திரங்களை நான் கதைகளில் படித்ததை விட[ படிக்கவேயில்லை என்று சொல்லலாம்] திரைப் படங்களாகவும், தொலைக்காட்சி நிகழ்சிகளாகவும் பார்த்ததே அதிகம்.

முன்பு இங்கு வார இறுதியில் தொலைக்காட்சியில் டிஸ்னி ஒர் நிகழ்ச்சியை வழங்கும் அதுவும் டைஜஸ்ட் போன்று பல பாத்திரங்களின் நிகழ்சிகளை உள்ளடக்கி இருக்கும். இப்போது டிஸ்னி சானல் என்று தனியாகவே சானல் ஆரம்பித்து விட்டார்கள்.

ஒர் வாசகன் எனும் ரீதியில் நானும் கையில் ஒர் புத்தகத்தை வைத்து படிப்பதனையே விரும்புகிறேன். அந்த சுகம் டிஜிடல் பக்கங்களில் இல்லை. எனவே பூமித்தாய் என்னையும் மன்னிக்கட்டும்.

உற்சாகத்துடன் தொடருங்கள்.

ரஃபிக்,
படங்கள் மிகவும் அருமை . வால்ட் டிஸ்னி பாத்திரங்களை என்றுமே மறக்க இயலாது . அப்படியே வால்ட் டிஸ்னி நிறுவனத்தார் தமிழில் வெளிஇட்டால் நன்றாக இருக்கும் .

Lovingly,
Lucky Limat

நன்றி ரஃபீக். எனக்கு வால்ட் டிஸ்னி காமிக்குகள் இந்தியாவில் வெளியாகியிருப்பதே தெரியாது, இன்று வரை. :)

ஆங்கிலத்தில் ரொம்ப அழகா எழுதறீங்க. நான் கேள்விப்படாத வார்த்தைகள் எல்லாம்.. சும்மா அள்ளித்தெறிச்சிருக்கீங்க..!

அப்படியே.. ராணி காமிக்கையும் கொஞ்சம் பாருங்களேன். :)

காமிக்குகளை கலரில் படிக்கதான் எனக்கு ஆசை. கடைசியா நான் படிச்ச காமிக் வரை அந்த ஆசை நிறைவேறவேயில்லை.

கொடுத்து வச்சவர்..! :) :)

@ Shankar: உண்மை, வால்ட் டிஸ்னி கதைகளை அனிமேஷன் முறையில் பார்ப்பதில் தான் என்ன சுகம். அதிலும் டொனால்டின் அந்த கோபமான பேச்சு மற்றும் கத்தல்கள் ஒரு தனி ரகம். காமிக்ஸில் அதற்கு வாய்ப்பில்லை என்றாலும், நமக்கு பிடித்த ஊடகம் என்பதால் கொஞ்சம் அதிக கரிசனம், அவ்வளவுதான்.

டிஸ்னி சேனல் இப்போது இந்தியாவிலும் வெளியாகிறது... கிட்டதட்ட 6 இந்திய மொழிகளில் தனி தனி அலைவரிசையில் வெளியிடபடுகிறது. தமிழும் அதில் அடக்கம் என்பது தான் பெருமை. ஒரே குறை, முன்பு போல அமர கதாபாத்திரங்களான டொனால்ட் டக், மிக்கி மவுஸ் கதைகள் அதிகம் வெளியிடபடுவதில்லை என்பது தான்.

பூமித்தாய் நம் எல்லோரையும் மன்னிப்பாராக. :)

வழக்கம் போல முதன்மை கருத்துக்கு மீண்டும் நன்றி. தன்னலம் பாராத தங்களை போன்ற நண்பர்களை காண்பது அரிது என்று மீண்டும் நிருபித்துள்ளீர்கள்.

@ Limat: கருத்துக்கு நன்றி. பிரதான இந்திய மொழிகளில் வெளியிடவே டயமண்ட் அமைப்பினர் விருப்பம் தெரிவித்துள்ளனர். ஏற்கனவே ரோட்சைட் ரோமியாவை காமிக்ஸில் தமிழ் பேச வைத்தவர்கள் ஆயிற்றே, எனவே ஆர்வத்துடன் எதிர்பார்க்கலாம்.

@ பாலா: இந்தியாவில் இனி டிஸ்னி கதைகள் அதிகம் பார்க்கலாம் என்று சந்தோசம்தான் போங்கள்.

// நான் கேள்விப்படாத வார்த்தைகள் எல்லாம் //
நக்கலா? :) ஹாலிவுட் பாலாவிற்கு தெரியாத ஆங்கில வார்த்தைகளையா நான் உபயோகித்து விட போகிறேன்.

மாதம் ஒரு பதிவு எச்சிரமம் ஏற்படினும் ராணி காமிக்ஸில் பதிந்து விடுகிறேன். அடுத்த வாரத்திற்குள் :)

மாமா சாமின் நாட்டில் இருந்து கொண்டு கலர் காமிக்ஸ் பார்க்காமல் இருக்க முடியுமா... அங்கு ஒரு கடலே இருக்கிறதே. என்ன பணம் தான் பிரச்சனை, டாலர் வியாபாரம்.

முக்கியமான உங்கள் தேடுதல் படலத்தின் நடுவே, வருகை தந்து கருத்து பதிந்ததற்கு நன்றி நண்பரே. தொடருங்கள் உங்கள் ஆதரவை.

செல்லம் சிண்ட்ரல்லா, ஒனக்காக புதுசா ஒர் காலணி வாங்கிட்டு வந்திருக்கேன். வாம்மா வந்து ட்ரை பண்ணிக்கம்மா.

தாத்தா, இப்படி எல்லாம் பிண்ணூட்டம் போட்ட நீங்க இப்படி அல்பாயுசுல்லா போயிட்டீங்களே...

பி.கு. போகிற போது அந்த அம்மணிகிளின் முகவரி எல்லாம் குடுத்துட்டு போனதுக்கு தேங்க்ஸ்பா... :)

Hi Raffiq, you can also mention about Walt Disney's Tamil appearance through Mini Lion. Stories like "Nadu kadalil yelikal" , "Eagle Man" are coming into my mind. One more big publishing company also published Disney's stories in Tamil as a Regional release. (I couldn't recollect the name of the publisher. I am having a copy of it in my native)

Hey Rafiq, its indeed a great post. Well Disney was planning this for more than a year and thanks to Diamond's wide distribution they chose them over other old media publishing houses. I still have almost all the Egmont-Disney Comics, they also released cpl of Donald Duck Digests too...I have some of them. I had a couple of Disney Todays as well...had one issue of Chandamama Disney but lost it long back...Anyway its a good news that good ol'Uncle Disney is back..lets celebrate..

PS. I am a huge fan of Tamil Cinema & Kamal Hassan but Dashavataram was a waste thanks to Kamal's Megalomaniac 10 Roles...seriously it could've been a better film if Kamal would've concentrated more on the story than putting on Prosthetic Makeup. I love his stories have seen more or less all his Tamil films and have high regards for him & all his films (Anbe Sivam is one of my all time fav. film)but this one sadly doesn't qualifies even as an average film. It was Bad Filmmaking at its Worst! The opening 20 minutes were awesome and after that the movie just goes into drain...

@ Siv: Welcome back to Comicology. Thanks for reminding me of Walt Disney in our own Lion Comics & Mini Lion. I didn't include them first-up since they were mostly one-shots and didn't enjoy a bigger run. But since you have mentioned them already, I will include some pictures out of that venture soon with this post. Have to grab them from a friend who owns the copies, as those are the missing ones in my humble collection.

Meanwhile, please do let me know if you grab the other regional publishing you talked about. Never remember seeing one, and that would help to update this blog post, with credits to you :).

@ Toonfactory: Welcome back my friend. Was missing your info rich comments for long. It sure looks that Disney were planning for it long. But are there any takers for it current Disney Adventures monthly? I guess it is in the market for a couple of years. I had a glimpse of it, but the content is too hi-fi for a general Indian Kid, and it was also heavily priced, meaning the target segment is upper-middle class and above.

May be with this venture with Diamond, would help Disney India to reach the mass and other sects.

Sure it's party time with our favorite childhood characters returning to India. Like you, I am looking forward to hold Mickey, Donald, and Uncle Scrooge comics once again.

P.S.: I should admit that Dashavataram did lose out from building over from the pacy start. Kamal Hasan's face masks and 10 appearance were little too much. But, it is the only movie from South of its kind, so no wonders it ran for long. But I sincerely hope that the venture could have been made better, had Kamal relied on his acting, for which he is known for, rather than the Superhero stuff, which is better left to others who make a mockery out of it. :-)

ரஃபீக்,

டிஸ்னி காமிக்ஸ் பற்றி பின்னி பெடலெடுத்துவிட்டிர்கள். ஸ்கேன்கள் எல்லாம் மிகவும் சிரத்தை எடுத்து பதிவிட்டு இருக்கிறீர்கள்.

உங்கள் பதிவினை ரஷ்யன் மொழியில் மொழிபெயர்த்து இரசித்தேன். அற்புதமான மொழிபெயர்ப்பு. அடுத்தது ஸ்பானிஷ். :)

Cheers!

@ Josh: ஜுடோ ஜோஷ் சான், என்னடா உங்கள் வருகையை பதியாமல் இருக்கிறீர்கள் என்று எண்ணி இருந்தேன். ஒரு வழியாக வந்து சேர்ந்து விட்டீர்கள்.

டிஸ்னி காமிக்ஸ் ரசிகர்களுக்கா பஞ்சம்? நீங்களும் அதில் அடக்கம் என்று அறிவதில் சந்தோஷமே.

ஆமாம், ஐயன்மீருக்கு ரஷ்ய, ஸ்பானிஷ் மொழிகளும் தெரியுமா? அப்போது ஹைக்கூ கவிதைகள் அந்த மொழிகளிலும் இனி உண்டா? இன்னும் எவ்வளவு ரகசியங்களை பதுக்கி வைத்துள்ளீர்களோ...:)

@ Toonfactory: Welcome back my friend. Was missing your info rich comments for long. It sure looks that Disney were planning for it long. But are there any takers for it current Disney Adventures monthly? I guess it is in the market for a couple of years. I had a glimpse of it, but the content is too hi-fi for a general Indian Kid, and it was also heavily priced, meaning the target segment is upper-middle class and above.

May be with this venture with Diamond, would help Disney India to reach the mass and other sects.

Sure it's party time with our favorite childhood characters returning to India. Like you, I am looking forward to hold Mickey, Donald, and Uncle Scrooge comics once again.

P.S.: I should admit that Dashavataram did lose out from building over from the pacy start. Kamal Hasan's face masks and 10 appearance were little too much. But, it is the only movie from South of its kind, so no wonders it ran for long. But I sincerely hope that the venture could have been made better, had Kamal relied on his acting, for which he is known for, rather than the Superhero stuff, which is better left to others who make a mockery out of it. :-)

நன்றி ரஃபீக். எனக்கு வால்ட் டிஸ்னி காமிக்குகள் இந்தியாவில் வெளியாகியிருப்பதே தெரியாது, இன்று வரை. :)

ஆங்கிலத்தில் ரொம்ப அழகா எழுதறீங்க. நான் கேள்விப்படாத வார்த்தைகள் எல்லாம்.. சும்மா அள்ளித்தெறிச்சிருக்கீங்க..!

அப்படியே.. ராணி காமிக்கையும் கொஞ்சம் பாருங்களேன். :)

காமிக்குகளை கலரில் படிக்கதான் எனக்கு ஆசை. கடைசியா நான் படிச்ச காமிக் வரை அந்த ஆசை நிறைவேறவேயில்லை.

கொடுத்து வச்சவர்..! :) :)

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